Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit Zandvoort, 2022

Verstappen says race-winning pass on Hamilton was ‘timed really well’

2022 Italian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen said his victory in the Dutch Grand Prix was “not a straightforward race” after winning at home for the second time.

The Red Bull driver was given a hard challenge by Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton leading part of the race on a one-stop strategy, until a series of Safety Car and Virtual Safety Car periods changed the complexion of the afternoon.

“It was not a straightforward race,” the Red Bull driver said. “We had to push the whole race, of course with the Safety Car, Virtual Safety Car, making the right calls, always a bit of a question mark. But it worked out really well and once we got back to the soft tyres we had great pace again.”

He pitted for soft tyres during the final Safety Car period, after Valtteri Bottas’s Alfa Romeo stopped on-track. That dropped him behind Hamilton but he was immediately able to attack and overtake his rival at the end.

“Before that Safety Car I thought it was okay to [go to] the end with the hard tyres, even though we were a bit slower. But then of course the Safety Car came out and I don’t think we were going to keep it up if we don’t pit – so we went for the soft tyres,” Verstappen explained.

“But then of course I dropped back to third. Then George [Russell] pitted as well [from second] so I had a good run on the restart. We have a bit more top speed, so that helps to attack into turn one and from there on we had a really good balance with the car again.”

Verstappen was able to overtake Hamilton immediately at the restart, passing him on the straight down to turn one and then pulling away through the banked corner. “We timed that really well out of the first corner with the banking and then you could see the draft was quite strong and we got ahead.”

“It’s incredible to win again,” he said. “It’s always special to win your home grand prix, it was already last year. This year I had to work for it even more so an incredible weekend and I’m really happy we’ve got the Dutch Grand Prix.

He said the thousands of Dutch fans who had come to the event gave him “unbelievable support and I’m really happy all of you guys came here to support. Proud to be Dutch.”

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2022 Italian Grand Prix

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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11 comments on “Verstappen says race-winning pass on Hamilton was ‘timed really well’”

  1. You did it way too early Max, the thrill was gone a wink after the SC retired

  2. Jelle van der Meer (@)
    4th September 2022, 16:30

    First bad call of Red Bull this year didn’t help Max, still do not understand why Red Bull put Max on hards.
    He pitted on lap 46 during VSC, had done 28 laps on medium with heavier fuel load so for sure he could have done 26 laps on a set fresh mediums which Max still had.
    On mediums the Mercedes drivers wouldn’t have come any closer.

    Also wondering if Russell didn’t break rules by speeding up under safety car a lot to cross pit lane exit line before Max.

    1. Max clearly told them he did not want another set of mediums.

    2. @jelle-van-der-meer As @sjaakfoo said Max told them he didn’t want medium as that tyre didn’t work so hard it was. Then with a safety car it was easy to sawp thosehards for softs again. So no error but they listen to their driver…..

      1. Jelle van der Meer (@)
        5th September 2022, 9:03

        There are also reports that Max actually asked not to get hards, it was on the live feed that the mediums were not working that well but didn’t hear he didn’t want mediums. Also if softs work really well and mediums work less well I would say it is pretty logical hards work even less.

  3. I was surprised Hamilton didn’t wait with acceleration until the timing line like in Interlagos, not that he could’ve won even in this case.

    1. @jerejj I think he was hoping against hope his best chance was to catch Verstappen sleeping. It probably was his only realistic chance, but Max is seldom anything other than hyper alert.

  4. Tinfoil hat time: Who timed it really well? An enquiring mind would like to know if a client team’s strange issue, causing a “well timed” safety car, was an “accident”. Of course, things like that never happen if F1, do they Flavio? :)

  5. No, I don’t think anything underhand was going on but I am not surprised folk may think that.

  6. Max actually broke the rules on the restart yet no one seemed to realise.

    New SC rules this year state that cars must follow in line and cannot be alongside until the line. Max’s car was fully alongside Lewis’ on the line.

    1. Not correct. Racing starts when the race leader, ham, starts accelerating. You are not allowed to pass before the line.
      Max passed ham after the line.

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